Lizra was found at the bottom of a crater, pinned underneath her giant pangoline. Mig Dreymer the Pythian and Birch interrogated her and found that the Crux Alliance Army was camped nearby. The Crux’s mission is to find all spirit worship tribes, and give them a choice: renounce their beliefs regarding spirits and join the Alliance, or die. They also learned that Lizra was paid by Rhain Dreymer to find Mig and rescue her from the conflict by kidnapping her and holding her at the Alliance’s encampment. In fact, Rhain was now waiting there for word from Lizra.
Would Mig persuade Rhain to let her be? Rather than risk a direct confrontation, she got Lizra to arrange a meeting between Birch and Rhain in a nearby forest. It was a dark night. Mig and Lizra, who had her hands bound watched in secret from behind a row of trees.
Birch made a persuasive argument. Mig could not be returned to the Alliance because she had killed one of their men outside the balnearium ruins. Rhain agreed to try and keep the Crux off their scent, but would not stop his own search.
Meanwhile, quiet Lizra, catching Mig distracted by the men, had zipped up a tree after cutting her ropes with a little knife she had hidden up her sleeve. It only took Mig a moment to realize what had happened. Lizra was gone and had to be found. If Lizra got back to the Crux knowing what she knows the entire caravan might be massacred. She ran to the men desperate for help.
Rhain reached for his property. Birch attempted to stop him, but the darkness and chaos of it all caused him to loose his footing and stumble to the ground.
Rhain had Mig and was pulling her away through the woods. She couldn’t overpower him. But she would rather die than return.
She screamed tearfully “If you don’t let me go I’ll kill myself and your unborn child!”
For three surprised heartbeats, his hand relaxed it’s grip, just enough for Mig to squirm loose.
She ran for Birch’s pangolin.